I hate Chuggers. For those who don’t know the term, it’s a combination of the two words ‘Charity’ and ‘Muggers’. You know the ones, men and women with their tabard and their clipboard or bucket (or ipads or credit card machines lately). Guilt-tripping people into donating money.

Having worked for a charity (as an email developer) I know that chugging does bring in funds – which explains why they do it. But I do wonder how much engagement or loyalty to that charity the donor has after these experiences?

I’m assuming that some of you reading this think that I hate charity in general, or that I’m a bit of a scrooge. Not true. I have volunteered for Crisis, I have an annual membership to ZSL (the charity behind London & Whipsnade Zoo) and have done an abseil for them. I have monthly donations straight from my bank account to three different charities. I give to some tv/radio appeals, work charity collections, and sponsor some people for various events.

But you know what all these donations have in common? They are to charities of MY choice, at a time of MY choosing, via a medium of MY choice. Which is how you should choose to give your money away.

Chuggers expect you to give YOUR money to the charity of THEIR choice, at a time of THEIR choosing via a medium of THEIR choice, and often of a set amount. And they have the cheek to act all holier-than-thou whilst doing it. Especially if you decline to donate.

(Just a small caveat – I have no issues with volunteers with buckets at a charity event – if you’ve chosen to be there, then I’m assuming you’re up for donating)

I refuse to feel guilty about walking past these people, even if it’s for a charity I support, and I urge you to feel the same. No-one should be allowed to emotionally blackmail you out of your money. If you want to give to charity, do it – but on your terms, and to a charity that you legitimately give a shit about – not just to the next tabard-wearing mugger with a bucket.

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